Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 84, Issue 2, pp 293–301 | Cite as

Herbicide isoproturon aggravates the damage of low temperature stress and exogenous ascorbic acid alleviates the combined stress in wheat seedlings

  • Xiao Wang
  • Lin Wu
  • Jingjing Xie
  • Tonghua Li
  • Jian Cai
  • Qin Zhou
  • Tingbo Dai
  • Dong Jiang
Original paper


Herbicides are largely used to control weed growth in wheat production. However, the application of some kind of herbicides usually aggravates the damage caused by low temperature, and is also a very common adversity during the early growth stages of wheat. In this study, we pre-treated wheat seedlings with the herbicide chemicals of isoproturon, fluroxypyr and fenoxaprop-P-ethyl, respectively and then exposed the plants to low temperature stress with different time intervals. The herbicides, especially isoproturon, significantly increased the negative effects of low temperature on electron transport rate, chlorophyll content, cell membrane stability as well as growth of wheat plants. Furthermore, the foliar application of ascorbic acid (AsA) decreased relative electric conductivity, reduced the content of malondialdehyde, and reduced the production rate of reactive oxygen species, these were in line with elevated activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase and peroxidase under the combined stress of isoproturon and low temperature, indicating that AsA effectively mitigated the sever oxidative stress induced by the combined stresses. Thus, some of the herbicides such as isoproturon are suggested to be very carefully used before the possibility of low temperature events. In case low temperature stress occurs after using of isoproturon, AsA could be used to partially alleviate the damage by the combined stress of isoproturon and low temperature in wheat production.


Antioxidant enzymes Herbicides Isoproturon Low temperature Wheat 



This study was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFD0300107), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31325020, 31401326, 31471445), the China Agriculture Research System (CARS-03), Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Modern Crop Production (JCIC-MCP), Collaborative Innovation Center of Gene Resources, the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (KJQN201505). We thank the reviewers for their constructive comments.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiao Wang
    • 1
  • Lin Wu
    • 1
  • Jingjing Xie
    • 1
  • Tonghua Li
    • 1
  • Jian Cai
    • 1
  • Qin Zhou
    • 1
  • Tingbo Dai
    • 1
  • Dong Jiang
    • 1
  1. 1.National Technique Innovation Center for Regional Wheat Production, Key Laboratory of Crop Physiology and Ecology in Southern China, Ministry of Agriculture, National Engineering and Technology Center for Information AgricultureNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

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